Nio announces new mainstream car brand

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Nio will target the more affordable end of the electric car market with a new marque, though plans to come to Australia have not been revealed.

Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio will soon launch a new ‘mass-market’ sub-brand that will arrive as a more affordable alternative to Nio’s premium market cars.

In a recent statement, the company’s CEO, William Li, said: “The relationship between Nio and our new mass-market brand will be like that of Audi-Volkswagen and Lexus-Toyota.”

Li also expressed an ambition for his new sub-brand to undercut and outperform Tesla, saying: “We want to provide better product and service at prices lower than Tesla.”

Nio has only just started its advance on the European market, with the recent launch of the ES8 SUV and ET7 sedan in Norway. The brand hasn’t yet made a move on the right-hand drive UK or Australia for that matter, but the firm has hinted that it’s a possibility if there’s enough interest. However, Nio has not revealed or hinted at any plans to bring its upcoming sub-brand over as well.

Currently, Nio’s vehicles are positioned towards the premium end of the market, with prices for the ET7 saloon starting from the equivalent of around £51,000 (AUD$82,000) in China.

The announcement comes as the firm reveals its earnings for the second quarter of 2021. The company delivered almost 22,000 vehicles during the period, representing around a 112 percent increase year-on-year.

Nio is also working on expanding its innovative battery-swap network, with plans to more than double its current capacity from 361 stations to more than 700 by the end of 2021, as it moves into the European market.

By 2025, Nio aims to go global with the technology, with 4,000 stations worldwide.

Luke Wilkinson

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